The ACC Women's Tournament in Malaysia continued today, as Bangladesh and Hong Kong continued towards what we thought was their inevitable meeting in the final. But whilst Bangladesh beat China today, Hong Kong were upset by Nepal, meaning that they will now meat in the semi-final.
Hong Kong's defeat by Nepal was a prime example of why you should never rely on one player. Their captain, Neisha Pratt, who used to play for Northern Districts in New Zealand before moving to Hong Kong, has been the backbone of the Hong Kong side, averaging almost 70 in her seven matches before this one.
But today, she failed. She was caught behind for five in the third over, and the rest of the Hong Kong batting line up could only score 26 runs between them. Skipper Nary Thapa and Neera Rajaopadhya (pictured right), took three wickets for almost nothing each as Hong Kong were dismissed for 31 in the 24th over.
Nepal scored their runs slowly and steadily, taking few risks, and Nary Thapa and Neera Rajaopadhya were the batting pair at the crease when they reached their target in the 24th over for the loss of three wickets, thus reaching the semi final where they will face China.
Hong Kong lost to Nepal by 7 wickets
Johor Baru, Malaysia
Hong Kong: 31 (23.5 overs, Rajaopadhya 3/4, Thapa 3/5)
Nepal: 34/3 (23.5 overs)
In today's other match Bangladesh finally got the chance to bat against China. They didn't impress that much. Whilst they did score 108 before being bowled out with one ball to spare, it was mainly thanks to a sloppy performance in the field by China, who bowled 21 wides and dropped seven catches.
China batted as poorly as the other opponents of Bangladesh in this tournament, showing their inexperience at facing quality spin bowling as they were bowled out for just 22, Champa Chakma taking four wickets for five runs with her left-arm spin.
Bangladesh beat China by 86 runs
Johor Cricket Academy, Malaysia
Bangladesh: 108 (29.5 overs, MC Hua 4/27, CY Juan 3/16)
China: 22 (21 overs, C Chakma 4/5)
Tomorrow will see Thailand play Malaysia and Singapore play UAE as they battle out for third place in their respective groups. Tuesday's semi-finals will see Bangladesh take on Hong Kong with Nepal playing China. The winners meet in the final on Wednesday where the prize is a spot in the next Asia Cup.